New study estimates massive economic impact of UT, OU departures for Big 12 cities

Oct 26, 2019; Ames, IA, USA; A general view of Jack Trice Stadium during the third quarter between the Iowa State Cyclones and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

We already know the impact Oklahoma and Texas leaving the Big 12 for the SEC will have on the media rights of the eight schools left in the league, but we are just starting to get an idea of the economic impact on the eight Big 12 cities left behind by the Sooners and Longhorns.

Under two different scenarios outlined by The Perryman Group in a study titled Potential Economic Consequences of Texas and OU Leaving the Big 12 Conference, the economic impact of losing Oklahoma and Texas could climb as high as an estimated combined $1.3 billion in annual gross product and 18,063 jobs across the eight cities.

Those numbers fall under what the group describes as “scenario two” which “assumes the Big 12 Conference is not maintained and individual schools must seek opportunities elsewhere, with ultimate performance mirroring the five most successful athletic programs in the Mountain West Conference.”

In scenario two, the loss of annual gross product in Ames alone is an estimated $149.7 million with an estimated loss of 2,019 jobs.

The steepest economic losses under scenario two would be felt in the Fort Worth area, the home of TCU, where the estimated loss in annual gross product is $219 million and an estimated 2,916 lost jobs.

The group’s “scenario one” is described as “the Big 12 Conference remains largely intact with the remaining eight teams (and potentially expands), with television revenues and attendance patterns similar to those in the American Athletic Conference (adjusted for specific characteristics of the individual schools).” Obviously, if these are the only two possible scenarios, then this would be considered the best case.

Still, the best-case isn’t great. Scenario one would result in an estimated $938.9 million loss of gross annual product plus an estimated loss of 12,623 jobs across the league. In Ames, those numbers work out to an estimated $104.6 million in lost gross annual product and an estimated 1,411 lost jobs.

You can read the entire study from The Perryman Group here.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.